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Blue Ridge Outdoors: Why Winter Hiking Is Better

Blue Ridge Outdoors: Why Winter Hiking Is Better

"Sure, the likelihood of urinating near a highly venomous serpent nosedives when it’s 20 degrees outside. But colder weather also deters many folks from venturing past the couch..."

It’s really hard to stop peeing.

Even when you realize a timber rattler is slithering just inches from your bare buttocks, it takes some real restraint to pause the stream and pull up your muggy trousers. I know firsthand.

Last July, my wife and I had a random Saturday off. She’s a chef, so we almost never get a free weekend together. When we do get time to explore, it’s usually a random weekday when most 9-to-5’ers are in the office. All this to say, we had yet to witness the pandemic-driven outdoor boom until we pulled up to find a historically overlooked trailhead in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest teeming with long-haired brahs and fetid summer campers. We let out a collective grunt.

Intent on squeezing all the life we could out of the day, we started hiking anyway. But as soon as we gained momentum, 20-somethings in sandals and couples with toddling kiddos would round the corner, forcing us to step off the trail. The hike continued like a UPS delivery route—stop and start, stop and start—and as the miles dragged on, I could feel my bladder squirm.


Story by Lauren Stepp